Short stories: My dad is a stone

“My dad is super strong.” Matt stood up from the wet grass and threw a few punches to the air. It was the summer holiday. The perfect time to hang out with friends.
“Oh yeah, I bet my dad can kick your dad’s ass.” Jeremy pitched in. A big smile formed on his face. Like every day they hanged out at the local park. The perfect spot for a good dad battle.
“My dad doesn’t have to beat your dad’s ass. He will pay someone to do it for him. He is rich, because he works at a bank.” sniggered Chow.
Oh yeah, well my dad will kick the shit out of anyone your dad hires and then he goes after your wimpy dad, Chow. And then he will fight your dad, Jeremy. What are you going to do about that?” Matt always was the most vocal of the bunch. He was a year older than the rest and would make sure that all of them knew that.
“I will call Mustafa’s dad. He is a cop and will bust your dad’s ass to prison.”
The boys laughed and Jeremy and Mustafa gave each other a bro fist. Jeremy loved this game.
He looked around and saw Joshua lying in the grass. He never participated in this game. Somehow it made Jeremy angry. As if his friend didn’t want to play with them. He turned around to Joshua. “Yo Josh. My dad can beat your dad easily.”
The small blonde boy looked up to his friends and gave them a little smile.
“Yeah, probably. My dad is not a fighter.”
Matt walked up to him and threw his hands in the air.
“Dude, you are supposed to defend your dad.”
Joshua sighed and sat up. “Well, alright. My dad is a stone.”
It was quiet for a minute until Matt started to laugh out loud.
“A stone? Dude, that is lame.”
Joshua lay down again. “Fuck you, Matt.”
Chow looked shocked. “Wow, you can’t use the F word. If my mom hears it, she will make sure I will not be able to go out for the rest of the summer.” Mustafa nodded and sat down next to Joshua. “Yeah, not cool. You were the one that began with that lame ass stone dad stuff.”
“It is not lame. It is real.” answered their young friend.
“You are so talking shit, Josh!” Matt’s face was turning red.
Chow covered his ears and muttered to himself how he hated cursing.
Jeremy sighed and saw Matt getting ready to become extra angry. He stepped up and gave Joshua’s legs a small kick. “If it is true, show us. Let’s go to your place and look at your dad.”
The boy stood up and patted his pants clean. The others looked at him in anticipation.
“Sure, but my dad is not home.”
“Oh yeah, he is probably in stone city, being super stoned.” said Matt with his mocking smile.
The others laughed, except for Joshua, who nodded.
“Yeah, Matt. Something like that. Well, shall I guide you to him? Or are you chicken, Matt?”

Jeremy dodged a few twigs and made his way through the bushes. “Jeez, is stone city in the middle of the forest or something?” It was Matt’s voice that just came from behind him. “You will see.”said Joshua, who was in front of Jeremy. “We just need to go through this hole in the fence.”
Jeremy went through the hole and looked around. He recognised the place. The smell of flowers. The deafening silence. He remembered them. “Almost there.” said Joshua. Jeremy began to understand it now. He has been here before. A knot formed in his stomach. As if time didn’t exist here.

There stood Joshua. Alone. Lost in thoughts. Before him was a rock. A rock in the shape of a tombstone. Matt looked uneasy at Joshua, but didn’t say a word. There was no need for words now. They all understood it now. Jeremy laid his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Hey.” He said and Joshua looked up with a tear in his eye. “My gramps is also a stone.”

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